Acquiring blog readers is hard. Simple as that. At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for. However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience. When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure. I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.
I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog. Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though. During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since. I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.
Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques. Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others? Oh yes, that’s right…my mother! Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right. See what I did there with the “almost” part? I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.
It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own. I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer. Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof. Anything and everything has the potential of being funny. I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.
Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me. Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh. She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting. Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly. For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit. There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.
Katie Holmes, you deserve a round of applause for taking a stand and doing what you felt was right for the best interest of your daughter! We’ve all watched on from the outside as photos and rumors have swept around for years about the good, the bad and the recently ugly side of the Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise relationship. This divorce has most definitely brought Scientology to the forefront of the news, but that’s not what I want to focus on.
Instead of pointing out all of the traditions and beliefs that many whom are not Scientologists are now questioning, I would like to hone in on Katie’s decision. As someone who made the decision several years ago to admit that my marriage needed to end, I am proud that despite everything Katie knew would come forward she stood strong and strategically move forward with her plan. She did what she felt to be important to protect her daughter and herself in the miserable process that is known as a divorce.
When I see photos of Katie and Suri out enjoying all that NYC has to offer it reminds me of my mom and I when we first relocated to New York after my parents divorced. They both look relaxed, happy and genuinely enjoying some mother / daughter bonding time without any concern for the paparazzi storm that is swirling around them. I know on the other side of this is a parent who’s world is crumbling apart, but it is hard for me to not recognize how empowered Katie looks when you see her smiling and living her life proudly with her daughter by her side.
As all kinds of crazy items about Tom’s religious beliefs have been brought to lift, I’m still amazed that their entire divorce process took only eleven days! I’m sure with a child involved there were terms and visitation conditions that they went back and forth about, but I’m proud of Katie for doing what she felt she needed to do for the best future for her daughter (in her eyes at least). It just proves that we each have a strong gal waiting to break out and stand up for what we feel is right no matter what might come from it.
While I’m sure there is no reason that Katie Holmes would be reading this, or even cares my opinion during the very big life change she is undergoing, I still felt it was important to put it out there in the universe that she’s reminded me that standing up for what I feel is best is still the right thing to do. Thank you Katie! Thank you for being a strong, now single, mother and reminding me that we all have the same potential inside of us. Continue to be a shining example to us all and keep on smiling with that adorable young lady of yours. Your future ahead is as bright as Suri’s smile!
Filed under Culture, Dating
Despite looking like a healthy 28 year old with an active lifestyle, I wake up each morning facing a battle with Fibromyalgia. After being diagnosed in May of 2011 I feel into a bit of a FIbro-funk and started feeling like I had lost a part of my identity. After over 20 years of being a dedicated active dancer it was hard to face the reality that my pain would never completely go away. One day I woke up and realized I was taking precious days for granted. I needed to get my butt back in gear and take advantage of what I’m so very lucky to have, so I set a hefty goal for myself.
On February 26th I donned my Livestrong apparel from head to toe and obtained my goal when I crossed the finish line of the Disney Princess Half Marathon 3 hours, 10 minutes and 4 seconds after crossing the starting line hand-in-hand with my most amazing boyfriend. We were just two runners in the sea of over 19,000 others who were all there to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Paired with all of our fellow runners millions of dollars was raised for a cause that is near and dear to my heart. This amazing organization has helped my family directly and I couldn’t think of a better first half marathon experience than one that would benefit LLS. If the Disney volunteers weren’t motivational enough then the LLS volunteers and fellow runners were there to help push everyone across the finish line.
Despite severe knee pains starting around mile 6, I achieved my goal of not giving up and finishing all 13.1 miles with a smile on my face. It truly is a motivational run when you see how supportive all the runners are. Women cheered each other on, inspired each other and my boyfriend showed me just how much he truly accepts me for who I am and all that comes with that. My Livestrong shirt was stamped with the phrase “Fight Like Hell” and it became my motto of the day through the pain and slight rain. I watched cancer survivors run to raise money for the organization that helped them each step of their way without any hesitation. We ran as team “D.W.A.R.F. Awareness” in an effort to “Dance, Walk and Run for Fibromyalgia Awareness.”
Having Fibromyalgia, I knew there was a chance that my body would be pushed to its limit in trying to complete a race that lasted multiple hours with strenuous activity. Despite the few tears that popped up around mile 9 from the knee pain I knew I had a mission. I was there to walk for those who couldn’t right now. With each step the pain was more and more debilitating, but it reminded me of all that my loved one experienced during his multiple battles with Lymphoma. I watched him lose his hair and his mobility, but he never gave up and I knew I was meant to do the same. Each step closer to the finish line was for him. His strength to wake up each morning and continue to fight for another day kept me moving. I wanted to make him proud and complete the goal I set for myself when I told him I would finish no matter what challenge I faced.
For those who wake up to the daily challenge of cancer, know that you inspire those around you. You’ve touched our lives and we see your strength, even on the days when you might doubt it yourself. I was fortunate to have an amazing boyfriend by my side to lean on for strength. He is my rock like so many of the other runners are to those they love that are affected by cancer. He held my hand, reminded me that nothing could stop me when I put my mind to it, and pushed me forward so I would achieve my goal. His kind nature, acceptance and understanding of my challenges helped me give back to a loved one who has always been there for me when I needed him. Without a doubt I would do it all over again and I intend to do so while I encourage others to do the same for this amazing organization.
During my years as a dancer and performer I spent more than my fair share of time in auditions. After all, that’s what you do if you want to get a gig. You prepare the best that you can and going into the room to battle your nerves, the views of the audition panel and the looks you’ll get from those auditioning with you. It’s a lot like interviewing but with more movement. In interviews you still have to battle your nerves, the views of the panel and the looks you’ll get from those who just interviewed as they pass you in the hall. Both situations spark memories of sweaty palms, extreme smiling and strategic clothing choices. Why on earth do we put ourselves through this torture? Oh yeah, to get a job.
Another similarity I have found over the years between auditions and interviews is that in both situations you rarely find out why you didn’t get the job. That makes it tough to work on weaknesses before you go out for another opportunity, but you can’t let it keep you from walking through the door and trying it all over again. In the last 5 years I have begun to see interviews as a positive challenge and it all came from an audition experience I had back in my teenage years.
As a teenager I was fixated on attending the Broadway Theater Project summer intensive if it killed me. The first time I auditioned I signed in, gave them my paperwork and received a number that put me all the way at the bottom of the list. I was there all day just waiting, listening to the other auditionees, and panicking about my turn. When my chance finally came I did the best that I could for a kid with desperation oozing out of every pore. To my amazement I didn’t get accepted that first year. I huffed and puffed and sobbed when the letter came announcing that I would spend another summer without BTP in my life.
A year later, and several more auditions under my belt, I went back to audition again. This time I was the first person to arrive at the audition and I actually waited for another attendee to arrive and sign in before me just so I wouldn’t be the very first. Before I even walked in the door I decided that the audition wasn’t going to be the end of my world. I auditioned the year before and my getting in was their loss. Although it was cocky at the time, my plan of attack was to go in there and show them what they missed out on. They laughed at my comedic monologue, smiled at my song and passed my resume along during the dance portion. In my mind I had decided that I wouldn’t have another audition where I left the smell of desperation behind me when I exited the room.
Years later I did the same thing when I interviewed for a job. I already had a job at the time, so in my mind I told myself it would be their loss if they went with a different candidate. I landed the job. Now I know many people who would walk into a room with this thought pattern and come off as a disrespectfully self-indulgent applicant. However for someone like me, who tends to be a bit more reserved and less confident in some situations, this is just the push I need. It is my own mental reminder that I am an amazing candidate that has so much to offer. If you’re oozing desperation at your next interview, feel free to pull this page right out of my book and see how it works for you. This tactic keeps me cool, calm and collected so my game face is on when I need it the most. Give it a try and see how it works for you.
Here’s a sneak peek at what dancers and other performers go through when we step into auditions:
Do you work in a place with strict rules that need to be followed for efficiency, safety or productivity? Most people do. However, I am coming to learn that my current job has an obscure list of rules that seems to change on an almost daily occasion and it is making it a bit hard to figure out my role. I’ve been in my current job for almost 6 months as just last week attended my very first job training that helped me to better understand, in theory, the way my job is supposed to work. This might be the first time in history that I’ve worked for a company that didn’t have any form of an orientation or training when I started.
I will say that as a hands on type learner I have enjoyed teaching myself the ins and outs of my position, but I will follow that up by adding that it would be a bit easier to move forward if I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t do. In my past I remember rolling my eyes at companies that had a multiple day orientation, but now I actually find myself longing for it so that I can feel as if I am informed. My last company cut their 8 hour orientation down to 4 in hopes of saving costs. In my past I worked for a company whose 8 hour orientation was the downsized version of something that used to last almost a week.
Although there is a list of standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for my specific role, they are generally not upheld by my direct superior who tend to make rules up as situations arise and believes that is how this industry is intended to operate. Maybe I think differently because I came from a different subset of hospitality prior to this or maybe it’s because I have two business degrees and think that there is a good reason that SOPs exist. Either could be a likely reason that I’m having trouble understanding by boss’s way of doing things. It doesn’t really matter what the root of the cause is. The challenge is figuring out how to handle this difference each and every work day.
Thus far my solution has been to run every large decision by my supervisor to see what he would prefer I do. I have found this to be very effective in ensuring that I do what he would want, but it also has made me feel as if I am not empowered to make decisions on my own. The times that I’ve made a decision and moved forward without any assistance have usually resulted in backtracked changes made by my boss in the end. I thought taking past situations into account would lead me in the right direction, but in this instance I have learned that precedence don’t exist. It looks like I’ll have to find another plan to decode my boss’s cryptic decisions so that I can truly master this position.
It’s no secret that going through a divorce screws up any preplanned timeline you may have had for yourself. If you are a list person, much like I am, then you know what I’m talking about. My list might be digital now but it’s still a list nonetheless. It’s got the usual yearly goals one might hope to attain: get a raise, go on a vacation, save “X” amount of money for savings, etc.
Now most of those things are still doable even despite a divorce. Well, except for maybe the one about saving spare cash if you are the one paying for the divorce as there might not be anything to spare until everything is said and done. If you’re a gal there is a good chance that you have a dream age you hope to get married by, buy your first home by, and possibly even have children by. I was never the type who dreamt about her wedding from a young age and knew exactly what she wanted, but with my last birthday of my 20s quickly approaching (as my lovely boyfriend pointed out over the weekend) I’ve become a little nuts about my timeline being a hot mess.
By no means do I want to rush into anything just for the sake of staying on some silly timeline I made for myself. I am at least rational enough to know that isn’t the way to go about things. However, I am still a gal and we all know that moments of weakness do on occasion compel us to be slightly irrational. Last week I threatened to cancel my social networking account after yet another friend from high school announced her upcoming bundle of joy. I am very happy for her and her husband…really! I think they both will be fabulous parents and that is going to be one lucky baby.
Then this week yet another friend announced his proposal to his longtime girlfriend. Another friend to be happy for…of course! Under the post about his engagement was page after page of status updates from my younger friends about their upcoming wedding or something adorable their little angel just did. Although the sane side of me is very happy that all of my friends seem to be in such a wonderful place in their lives, the less rational side of me slightly feels like I failed myself by not making the right decision the first time around.
Had I listened to my mother (I know she is saying “I told you so” while reading this), had I even listened to my current boyfriend as he told me he knew I was making the wrong choice, or had I let myself acknowledge any of the 5 million other red flags then maybe I wouldn’t have failed my own mental timeline. I know to some of you out there this seems nuts, but there are others out there who know just what I am talking about. I am lucky to be in a much better place now, with a man who I love and who treats me like gold. I have my friends back, the support to pursue my dreams and it seems like most things are just falling into place. Maybe it’s time to find out how to switch off that judgmental voice in my head so I can just enjoy where I am now.